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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  April 18, 2017 11:00pm-11:31pm PDT

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i'm focused on local economic development in metro atlanta. >> looks like ian williams is going to get the chance to make the call in this race. the 11th hour with brian williams starts now. a chance t the call in this case. "11th hour with brian williams" starts now. >> tonight, can a political newcomer pull off a win for his party and embarrass president trump who injected himself into this race? also working in the white house and selling hand bags on the side. new questions about a big business deal for ivanka trump's company. and new behind the scenes reporting from election night that we have not heard until now. the 11th hour begins right now. genes. a lot of news tonight as we greet you wins again from our headquarters in new york. day 89 of the trump administration and tonight all political eyes are on a special
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election for congress in georgia. 18 names on the ballot you be it's the democrat jon ossoff who is hoping to get more than 50% of the vote, pulling off an upset in this race. it's been tight all night. right now he's leading with 50.3% of the vote. 32 points out in front of his nearest competitor. the seat is open because its previous occupant, what was once newt gingrich's seat, tom price is now the trump administration. the president p jumped into the fray first by recording robocalls to local voters. then at 6:38 this morning on twitter "democrat jon ossoff would be a disaster in congress, very weak on crime and illegal
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agree bad for jobs. say no." 18 minutes later he was back at it. "republicans must get out today and vote in georgia 6, force run off, an easy win. democrat ossoff will raise your taxes." then again this afternoon" just learned that jon ossoff who's running for congress in georgia doesn't even live in the district. republicans, get out and vote." here's how the candidate answer that is criticism. >> i grew up in this district. i grew up in this community. of course no one knew there was an election coming. i've been by emory university about ten minutes down the road supporting my long-time girlfriend allysha while she concludes her medical training. >> president trump carried the district by a thin margin. it's a largely prosperous district with a high percentage
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of college educated voters. more on that in a moment. a loss ultimately could spook republicans heading into 2018. it is possible we saw an early version of what we're talking about, what that could look like during a town hall with iowa's junior senator republican joni earnst earlier today in wall lake iowa. >> i would like to know how you can support a man that treats women the way donald trump does. and he treats disabled people poorly as well. >> i did support him, because of his policies. but i would tell you going back, i don't know that we've ever had a perfect president. if you can point one out, i
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don't think we have. so you ow, that'sow i feel. i think i sup a majority of the policies versus the actual person. >> meanwhile, at a jobs event at snam-on too snap-on tools in wisconsin, the president continued to sell his version of how his administration is doing thus far. >> no administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days that includes on military, on the border, on trade, on regulation, on law enforcement. we love our law enforcement. and on government reform. >> let's bring in tonight's panel, shall we? capitol hill correspond k.c. hunt and from the washington post, robert costa. co-anchors. look at them both with us from the democratic ossoff headquarters in atlanta tonight. here in new york, radio talk show host from wisconsin, now
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the host of "indy advisable" charlie sykes. casey hunt, set the scene, set the stakes. how do democrats claim victory with less than 50%, how do they make the case for just how red this district is? >> reporter: brian, the expectations game here, i think got a little bit out of hand. more democrats and this 50% threshold. you can see and kind of hear behind us that this party is still going strong. it's a bigger party i saw for a lot of the republican presidential announcements that i went to over the course of the 2016 campaign. they've been trickling out the door a little bit as we wait for the final returns in this race. right now ossoff is holding steady, just over 50%. we're anticipating that the vote still out is likely to bring that number down below 50% and lead to a run off.
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although we can't report in a definitively yet at this point. democrats had gotten to the point where the expectation was and republicans worked on this, too, if he doesn't get 50% that means ultimately they didn't pull off the goal they wanted to achieve but this is much better than any democrat has done recently. so there are signs of democratic enthusiasm but so far irrelevant doesn't seem they have the numbers that they would need to win outright. >> and robert, you being one of the follows on twitter. i saw you tonight, describe this district, the people in it. you mentioned sleek suvs, i think. >> reporter: look. as democrats think ahead, brian, to 2008 and the kind of districts they've got to win to pick up the house, they need 24 seats. they need suburban districts like this, full of moderate republicans, college educated.
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i was driving around the district, saw a lot of blue ossoff signs, slick coffee shots. all the people were toting coffee, they've got young kids. it's a clean cut community in the suburbs of atlanta. this is a place where democrats believe because of the president's temperament they could have a candidate. their candidate ossoff ss pretty on message, is not too far out there in terms of how he espouses his progressive views. >> charlie sykes, what do you make of the president's decision to get in there? it doesn't come without risk. >> it comes with a lot of risk now that the expectation game has been raised by both sides. i'm guessing the results will be spinble by both sides. republicans will say, look, you didn't get to the 50% so it was not a huge defeat. democrats will be able to say, look, we should not even have
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been competitive in this seat in the first 100 days. it is interesting that donald trump cannot keep himself from getting engaged in these issues. by the way, i'm old enough to remember the scott brown election in massachusetts. >> oh, yeah. >> where everybody thought it was going to be the end of obama care and we looked back on that and that was a speed bump. this is probably going to be a speed bump as well. but it's an indication of how everything is magnified in the era of trump. >> you hang around capitol hill a, way too much and b, an awful lot. you talk to republicans up there. what's it like right now? do they define themselves? we saw a test on health care. do they define themselves as the party of donald trump? >> reporter: honestly, brian, i don't think so. i just don't see it. look, it's hard to get republicans to say outright negative things about donald trump. i think what you showed from
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john joni ernst, hi think it kind of gives you a sense that there is the potential for republicans to turn on donald trump if they don't think that he is going to get them re-elected. i think increasingly, the more that he makes decisions that to them feel erratic, one top republican, one said to me, look, we feel some responsibility to be the ballets in the state. if voters start feeling like the ship of state is falling off course, i think you'll see republican members of congress respond. i think that's what -- you're going to talk about the bradder implication of what's happening here, i think you build up these collective signs, you're going to get a lot of nervousness in congress that could affect how trump is able to govern. >> reporter: the republicans leading right now, karen andel,
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we've been reporting on her, she's wearing the republican r. she's not wearing the big t for trump. you look at the trump style plings, amy cramer, the tea party activist who supports trump, they didn't go anywhere in this race. and gray, bob gray who was supposed to be the guy embracing in this race, he fell apart, so did senator purdue's candidate dan moody. all the trump republicans in this conservative district didn't really embrace trump and do well and they fell away if they were with the president. >> reporter: i asked hand el specifically whether she would improve trump on her list of conservatives that she was emulating. she ticked off a lot of names in georgia. trump was not among them. she kind of paused and said -- ok. i support our president but i'm going to do right for what's oir
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district. these are the kind of districts, the kind of candidates that we're going to be talking about. it's not going to be those more conservative places. roint one more quick thing. i picked up in this room behind me, this runoff, if it becomes a runoff, it could be a race. as casey was saying, this is tom price's seat. democrats see this as a target. the guy -- the official who's going after obama care, the signature act of president obama came from this district and the they want to make it a fight if it's a runoff. >> good point there. couple of points here. to casey's point ask senator ayad how tricky it is when you're asked about the guy at the top of the ticket, in this case donald trump. casey talked a little bit about joni ernst.
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this was an interesting give and take. she was asked about the president's 28% of his time has been spent at mar-a-lago in florida. remember she came to fame with the castrating hogs ad, iraq veteran, yans like her. here was her answer. >> with the trips to florida, i do wish that he would spend more time in washington d.c. that's what we have the white house for. we would love to see more of those state department visits in washington, d.c. i think it's smart that he does business in washington, d.c. i have not spoken to him about the floridaish yet but that is something that i think that is something that's been bothering not just me but some other members of our caucus. >> charlie sykes, interesting. they're kind of testing the -- >> right. >> -- pushback waters. >> it's interesting.
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robert's point about the other candidates in georgia is fascinating. what is trumpism and how deep does it run in american politics. the candidates who have associated themselves most closely with trump and trumpism actually did not do well tonight at all. the candidate if there's a runoff is an establishment type republican. you're also seeing what are republicans then doing when they're asked about donald trump? are they going to throw themselves across the tracks for donald trump? and they're not. on my radio show i was talking with paul ryan and i asked him are you ever going to break with -- criticize donald trump if he crosses the line, for example, when donald trump said i don't think bill rifle did anything wrong. i asked him, what do you think? his answer was, well, i hadn't heard this story, i don't read the new york times. what i'm reading there is that right now they don't want to
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criticize trump as long as the policies are taking fire but they don't want to defend them. >> thank you both for your excellent reporting in georgia. we're going to fit in our first break tonight. coming up, if the trump family business became everybody's business, the minute they went on the federal parallyroll, wha should we make of the developments in ivanka's world when the 11th hour continues. to gently blend away some gray, but not all for that perfect salt and pepper look. satisfaction guaranteed. just you and the look you want. just for men touch of gray
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my pledge to buy american and hire american. >> on the day president trump signed his new buy american order, the associated press wrote" slump wivanka trump won l from the government of china." with us here tonight msnbc stephanie rule a veteran of the business and banking world and the television world as well. this is a weird diagram. you have ivanka's business as a subset inside the trump family business at mar-a-lago which is inside the presidency, so what did we learn today? >> we learned today that again it may be legal.
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there might not be an absolute violation. the trump family is also to put family first. ivanka trump may have stepped away from her company so that these not making the decision but we know she's the trademark brand. she gets approval for her item and she's sitting next to the president of china. >> as michael core lee own said, don't insult my intelligence. >> yes. >> on taxes, the american people may begin to see the tie between you want us to improve tax reform and yet we're not allowed to see your tax returns and potentially ways that you might profit from changes in the law. the tax returns are going to come roaring back. >> this is something that the
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president probably didn't forecast. remember, two days after the inauguration when kellyanne kwonway said he won, he doesn't have to release his taxes. that's already been litigated. we8, it hasn't. people have seen president trump change his positions on things, the fact that here we are with taxes again. he's saying i had an extra aired win why are my taxes coming back. the fact that he won't show his taxes, you want to reform taxes, we need to see how you could benefit. at this moment don jr. or eric, they may be on a competing network. remember they were -- it was very clear they were going to run the family business. they weren't going to be a part of the administration. yet you see them on tv talking about their father ace foreign policy. more and more people are saying we need to understand your business better before you want to reform taxes.
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>> whatever people think about new york-based bankers, a lot of them -- some of the professionals in the west wing have gone there to serve the administration. they must beantsy on this topic. >> they're frustrated on this. the graerp cohens, the wilbur rosss, they went down there because they understand big business. being held up, not able to move forward because they're stuck with, well, the president doesn't want to release taxes, they're saying give me a break. this job is hard enough to begin with. steve didn't want to have to come out and say all this looks aggressive. many, many people voted with their wallets. they wanted tax reform. they were willing to hold their noses, look the other way to some of president trump's behavior but they voted with their pocketbooks. if he cannot get tax reform, what can he get done. it's a matter of are you going to show your stacks mr.
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president? it looks like he's not. and if not, why? >> thankfully you're now in the division business. we appreciate you coming by tonight very much. coming up, remember that armada president trump announced was headed to the crane peninsula. we reported on it. turns out it was heading in the opposite direction. we'll sort it out when the 11th hour continues.
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. we have breaking news coming out of the state department tonight. nbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell is telling us secretary of state rex tillerson has notified the speaker of the house paul ryan that president trump is reviewing whether the u.s. should stay in the iron nuclear deal negotiated by the obama administration or cancel it. the agreement with iron, as you may recall, negotiated with siksz world poursz, including the u.s. based only on the goal of halting iron's nuclear program for the next decade. but the trump administration says iron's continued support for terrorism might be grounds, might be reason for the u.s. to drop out of this deal. here to talk about this and one other big topic today, jeremy ba bash. jeremy is former counsel to the house intelligence committee. our msnbc military affairs
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analyst, retired four star u.s. army general barry mccaffrey. welcome to you both. jeremy, your take on what we just said? >> the tillerson letter is three terse sentences. it says iron has complied with the deal. but the second sentence says notwithstanding that, the president has determined that iron is a major state sponsor of terrorism which is something which is, in fact, the case. and thend the secretary of state says the president has directed an nsc review, an interagency review among all the cabinets and agencies whether we should continue to waive the sanctions on iron. i think the main headline is as andrea noted that there's an evaluation under way as to whether or not the administration will stay in the
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iron nuclear deem. iran deal. >> i want to have you listen to two pieces of sound about a u.s. navy carrier strike group ie poirntly headed to the area. here's the president and the secretary of defense. >> we are sending an armada. very powerful. we have submarines, very powerful. far more powerful than the aircraft carrier. that, i can tell you. we have the best military people on earth, and i will say this. he is doing the wrong thing. >> she's just on her way up there because that's where we thought it was most pruntd to have her at this time. there's not a specific demand signal or reason why we're sending r up there.
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>> it's unusual for us to know aboushipment mement in advance. that's what got everyone's attention. why was that put out in advance? was it to signal to north korea that there would be a show of troops there? >> i believe it was because she was headed in one exercise and we canceled our role and that's why it became public. we had to explain why she wasn't in that exercise. >> the she is the uss vinson. the armada was steaming toward the peninsula, as donald trump said but it turns out it was headed the other direction. it was indeed taking part in military exercises and it's still a long way from the peninsula. all of this was correctly reported this weekend by courtney cuby, who you saw there, in the new york times. in this time when misinformation
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and lies and fake news are getting such wides strugsdiscussion and circulation, i know you're reluctant to criticize your colleagues in the navy except for one football game each year, this doesn't look good, general. >> no. you're right. there's an element of keystone kops to all of this. a couple of observations may be helpful. the usa navy knows where every ship in the global surface fleet is intan taken yusly 24 hours a day. there's no question about that. it's all on an electronic grid worldwide system. second observation, when you send a carrier battle group they don't steam along the shore three miles out from the beach. they're out there as a presence. normally, we announce them. the dmoirkians can't follow anything at sea. i think what happened was the administration canceled the australian deployment but picked up the maneuvers that were close to where

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